..........................1. The Vote Is On: Let everyone in your organizations, families, social networks know that they can help bring a 40 tree fruit orchard to far northside Tulsa, to our food desert, simply by taking a minute to register online and then voting once every day easily and quickly for our project, the only one in Oklahoma in the running. Five orchards per month will be given away, including planting and helping set up irrigation system, by the National Fruit Tree Foundation. We were one of 120 communities selected for the competition; of course most of the others are in heavily populated areas, with backing of staffed organizations, and where residents have easy access to internet in order to vote; we have none of that, but great need, and great dreams, and great love putting our dreams and miracles into action.
Go to and send others to http://www.communitiestakeroot.com/Plant/Index. Take a second to register with name and email address and a password specific to the competition then go to the vote page where you click on list of states and scroll down to find Oklahoma and that's us. Vote and then share with others that you have and you want them to do the same also and then bookmark the page to come back each day for a few seconds to do it again whenever you get on the computer. If you know someone with an email address who isn't able to do it, you can vote for them with their name and email address and a chosen password. If you would rather support us through a donation than the voting to win the orchard, send $40 toward a tree and the labor of planting to A Third Place Foundation, 5920 N. Owasso Ave., Turley OK 74126 or donate online at the button above this post. Put the information out via your business, civic group, church email, newsletters, social media pages, etc. ................If you want to help people get a sense of why we feel this so urgently, as well as all of our community renewal work, then send them to http://www.turleyok.blogspot.com/ where they can see the nutrition survey results pretty shocking even for a food desert, and also the videos of what the kitchengardenpark looked like before we bought it last year, with your help, and what its vision will be, and how the work is progressing already. ......................... 2. Our Annual Palm Sunday Demonstrating God's Way Not the Empire Way Project: Today we have been doing our guerilla gardening project transforming an old neglected poisoned corner of our community at the busy 66th and N. Lewis intersection. We are mulching paths, planting more flowers, and continuing to reclaim it and let people know this is a real community they are entering, or living in, and not just a disposable society. One person stopped and we ended up giving him some of our daffodils and irises we were going to plant there, and another person stopped and said thanks and gave us five dollars and drove on. It shows the real wealth and real community here so vital to the real life. Same for our work at Cherokee School with outdoor classrooms, with advocacy, with the summer feeding program. ................................ The values we try to foster, and live up to, of community that is the opposite of both poverty and of property, are in stark contrast these days. In today's front page of the Tulsa World, lead story, it talks about how part of Tulsa County is increasing in property values and lists the top ten areas that are, and it lists the top ten areas where there is the most decline in property values. No surprise to see where I live as the number two spot in the "worst" value area, just one tenth of a percent behind the neighborhood with the sharpest decline in property values. http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20110417_11_A1_CUTLIN721489 ..................................Siderant: The article spends time talking with people who live in the areas where the property values are increasing, but there is not one interview with a family in one of the neighborhoods like ours where the property values are decreasing. What is up with that, journalistically and morally? Come talk to us. We will talk about purposefully moving here, into a house that had been abandoned for around three years like so many of those in our area; we will talk about having to argue with the bank to get the loan to buy here because they didn't believe we were going to live here (who with our degrees, income, jobs, perhaps color of skin, would move here? was the undercurrent); we will talk about why we could live anywhere else but wouldn't; because we know real life is in community, and real lives of faithfulness to the Jesus way, anyway, means finding a way of living with those others abandon. ........................ Part of our conversation in worship today was about how we have made Palm Sunday a part of our everyday community life, as in all we try to do with all of our projects and with all of our partners is to demonstrate the Palm Sunday message that "Another World Is Possible". Jesus riding into the capital city on top of a nursing donkey, a sign of vulnerability and a different kind of power than was being displayed by dominant culture of Caeser and the religious authorities collaborating with Caeser, reminding people that God's Anointed is about love, peace, justice, serving others, risk-taking, and about the decisions we make for those most endangered, that is all about showing another world is possible. Easter is about the revelation that such a world is not only possible but it is real and here for those with eyes to see and hears to hear and hearts to open and hands to serve. .......................................We always have projects to do in our community center with its services and events, in our gardens, and connecting with partners. Let me know how I can help you find ways to help those we serve. We are looking for places for people who come serve with us from out of town to be able to take showers; so if you have ideas or resources please let me know. If you would like to help directly, let me know, either as an individual, family, or group you sponsor or are a part of. ...................... Easter and its season (we always remind people that like Christmas, Easter is not a one day, one morning, or one hour event; but is a full season of the year to reorient toward a Risen Life) is always here full of surprises as we try to surprise the world around us, so stay tuned or just plan to come experience the many ways we are witnessing to the resurrection of life here in the 74126. Alleluia's take many different forms. I do know that next Sunday we will be having a three-act worship focusing on feast, funeral, and freedom, or life, death, and resurrection. ............................And go vote for us and the fruit tree orchard for our neighborhoods here, and keep our partners in education and health and service and especially our northside schools in prayer and in your advocacy, that those in power may enlarge their vision and be open to creative opportunities that see abundance and not just scarcity, and that all those who are rightfully upset be rightfully upset at those who make decisions in Oklahoma City that people in our neighborhoods have to deal with, that our rallies end up in their hallways and on their doorsteps, so that their decisions not go unchallenged to try to gut public institutions in favor of private schools, churches, corrections, charities, health care, workers, etc. which only perpetuate the abandonment of those most in need. There is a concentrated assault on the very notion of a public civic society that pledges its common wealth to take care of one another. It is time to ride nursing donkeys into the places of power once again. Ron feel free to share with others, to follow on facebook at www.facebook.com/revronrobinson